Tuesday, October 31, 2006

New EPIC Poll 10/31: Granholm 52%, DeVos 42%

Last EPIC poll: JMG 48%, DDV 43%. A five point swing.



Are we having fun yet?



You should have heard Rick Albin (via Sarpolus) trying to spin it like all the undecideds would break for Dick, meaning it might only be a four point lead. Or something like that.



Breakdown of the script is here.



GRAND RAPIDS - With one week to go before the midterm election, a new EPIC-MRA poll shows that Governor Jennifer Granholm has opened a 10-point lead over her Republican challenger Dick DeVos.



When you eliminate the "leans", the numbers look even better.



When asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 48 percent said Granholm, with another 4 percent leaning her way. DeVos was the choice of 36 percent, with another 6 percent leaning toward him.



Once again, Stabenow is cruising.



Her overall lead against GOP challenger Mike Bouchard has grown to 14 points, 52-38.



Prop 2 is all over the place. This is scary and sad.



The biggest shift in the past week has been on Proposal 2, the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative. The proposal to ban affirmative action for public employment, education and contracting is now favored by a 49-42 margin. Last week, it was opposed 44-40. The undecideds have dwindled from 16 percent to 9 percent.



And Prop 5-



Proposal 5, the effort to establish mandatory school funding levels, still holds a slim two-point lead, 42-40. But 18 percent remain undecided.



It seems to me that all the other polls have shown undecideds and independents breaking for Granholm. Sarpolus thinks otherwise.



Sarpolus also expects the bulk of the undecided voters (6 percent) to go to the challenger DeVos. Because of that, everyone expects the race for governor to go down to the wire.



Maybe traditionally it has been that way, but given the anti-Republican mood of the country I think it will be different this year. Still, make sure you get everyone you know out to vote. It's crucial, and besides, it's the right thing to do.

WSJ/Zogby Poll- Granholm 52%, DeVos 43%

There is a discussion going on at Michigan Liberal (and other places) about how "silly" Zogby polls are, and I thought- "Hey! I'm silly! This must be the poll for me!" So here is your silly poll.



Still, it is an indicator, even though it may be a flawed one. And it is consistent with others that have come out recently. Interesting quote from the poll-



Granholm has the support of 92% of Democrats and is ahead of DeVos by four points among independents. Republican support of DeVos stands at 88%.



Are Republicans dumping Dick?



And as far as Debbie Stabenow goes- Zogby has her at 49-42 over Bouchard.



Another interesting thing to note- both DeVos and Bouchard's trend lines ticked down this time. I wonder if this is just part of the general anti-Republican mood that is sweeping the nation. Or maybe they both suck as candidates. Who knows.

Auto supplier chooses Michigan

Some good news...

KENTWOOD -- Here's a switch: A Virginia auto supplier is passing up Mexico to move here.



This winter, GRW Technologies Inc., a German-owned business now in Winchester, Va., will pick up its machinery and a handful of employees to move into a former Bosch Corp. site at 4460 44th St. SE.



Ten employees will relocate from Virginia and Germany, but the company expects to hire 50 local toolmakers and technicians, GRW President Walter Gebert said.



"We looked into different locations in America and also Mexico," he said. "But the infrastructure in Mexico wouldn't support a higher technology operation."



State and local officials were to announce GRW's move this morning.



Within five months, the company will relocate $3 million in equipment and invest $1.7 million for a leased 42,000-square-foot plant. The site also will be GRW's North American headquarters, and the business has an option to more than double its floor space.



Long-range goals include an additional $8 million invested over three years, and up to 90 more jobs.


Not all doom and gloom as some would have you believe.
Granholm's Traveling Salvation Show is on the road...

... and coming to a town near you soon. It's really called "Putting Michigan First", but I like my name better. I have a warped sense of humor. :-)



Here is a report from Battle Creek.



"Those bread and butter moderates?" she said to about 100 party faithful packed into Shrank's Cafeteria. "Those folks have been left behind by the Republican Party."



Granholm brought forward Democrat Sharon Renier, who is running against Republican Tim Walberg in the 7th Congressional District.



The governor said Walberg and DeVos represented the "hard right," and supporters of U.S. Rep Joe Schwarz — a moderate Republican from Battle Creek ousted by Walberg in the primary election — "should feel welcome" voting for her and Renier.


Amen. Do we really want more Bush Republicans in charge? Really? Haven't you had enough yet? This should be a no-brainer.



It is all about getting out the vote at this point.



Granholm went on to note she was "a Democrat through and through," praising the party as being one that "cares about all of our citizens."



The governor has held a small edge in most polls over DeVos for weeks. However, she remains shy of 50 percent of the vote in most polls — a standard benchmark predicting success for an incumbent.



She told the crowd that they couldn't view her lead as an excuse to skip voting.



"The last time I ran, I was something like 12 or 13 points up, but won by 4 points because Democrats didn't get out and vote," she said.


Make sure you vote. Make sure your friends vote. Make sure your family votes.



Our own Liberal Lucy was at the Lansing stop yesterday and has a report here. Behold the power of instant media. I did the same thing when she was at a GR rally recently.



The Governor is blogging about these stops at her website. Pretty cool. Surprised she has the time.



Granholm will be at Wolfgang's in the Eastown in Grand Rapids tomorrow at 8:30 am. (hmmmm... omelette) I probably won't go because I just saw her and it's best to let her get at some new people. Besides, I'm starting to feel like some sort of politician groupie and that freaks me out a bit. ;-)



EDIT 5:45PM- Holy s**t, check out this schedule for tomorrow- Grand Rapids, Greenville, Cadillac, Traverse City, Petoskey, Alpena, St. Ignace. That's a good 18 hr. day, assuming a trip back to Lansing.



This has got to be exhausting.
Granholm / MDP Ad: Greenville




I wouldn't post these ads if people weren't playing them... and to my great surprise they are playing them. Over 700 800 views on the ads I have put up, and I just started this recently. Amazing.



This ad is about the success story that is Greenville, a town not so far from me. Electrolux left, and United Solar Ovonics came in. It tells the story of how Granholm stayed and talked with the Electrolux employees for hours- and knowing what I know now, I have no doubt that she did do that.



This one cares about people, and about our state. She makes that clear every single day.

Happy Halloween:





My spider lives!



This is "Spidley". He built a big web in my driveway- when that was destroyed he moved up to my porch. I thought he was a goner in the cold the other day. He sat in one spot near the top of the roof and didn't move for over 48 hours. Well, that what happens, right?



Yesterday, there he was, back in the middle of his web, hanging out in the sun.



I'm going to train him to jump on the trick-or-treaters.



EDIT 3:57PM- Forgot the NFL results-



Green Bay 31, Arizona 14


Atlanta 29, Cincinnati 27


Baltimore 35, New Orleans 22


Tennessee 28, Houston 22


Jacksonville 13, Philadelphia 6


Kansas City 35, Seattle 28


Chicago 41, San Francisco 10


N.Y. Giants 17, Tampa Bay 3


San Diego 38, St. Louis 24


Indianapolis 34, Denver 31


Cleveland 20, N.Y. Jets 13


Oakland 20, Pittsburgh 13


Dallas 35, Carolina 14


New England 31, Minnesota 7



7-7. Damn. I used to be so good at this.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Why would DeVos hit my blog looking...


... for information about partial birth abortion laws?



Check the IP address...





...and check where that address goes to...





Hmmm. Should we be expecting an ad anytime soon on that?



(Just a reminder, DeVos said he would have signed a bill banning PBA that didn't include an exception for the life and health of the mother. He would also make you carry your rapist's baby. Just so we are clear on Dick's position here.)



I bring you this information as my own personal salute to the Freedom of Information Act, something that Dick doesn't seem to think is necessary. Seems that the Michigan Press Association sent the candidates four questions recently regarding open government. Here is what happened next, courtesy of the Saginaw News-



The first question: "Can you explain in 100 words or less why you think the Freedom of Information Act is important to the citizens of Michigan?"



Granholm, who has a day job, found time to respond to all four questions.



DeVos' campaign manager simply sent the press association this terse response:



"Thank you for your interest in Dick DeVos' campaign for change.



"We respect that your organization is engaged in the public arena. People coming together to address issues is a quintessential American right and tradition.



"At this time, we will not be responding to your questionnaire."



No, no -- thank you, Mr. DeVos, for reminding us of a quintessential press obligation to inform the public to expect the same dismissive treatment from a DeVos administration.



So, here is some free information for all of you out there. He hits me with anything else, I will let you know.
Granholm Ad: Off Shore 2



Thanks go to Zack for tubing this one while I was out and about today...



Why won't Dick tell us the truth? Do you have to ask?



This is a good one. Watch it. All I can say is... busted.



Some information about the bear comes from the Granholm campaign-



On August 22, 2005, in a press release titled, "Governor is proven wrong regarding her attack on DeVos," the DeVos for Governor Campaign said: · "Not one Michigan job has ever been shipped to China and no Chinese products are exported to the United States. Period." (Press Release, DeVos for Governor, August 22, 2005)



Additional examples of DeVos team explaining nothing made in China is sent back to the United States: · "Not one Michigan job has ever been shipped to China and nothing made in China is sold in the United States." (Setting the Record Straight, DeVos for Governor, August 26, 2006)



"Not one item made in China is imported back into the USA. Not one." (Greg McNeily, DeVos For Governor, Blog from the Trail, May 23, 2006)



The "Teddy Bear" was purchased through the Amway subsidiary, Quixtar, on September 21, 2006 from a Michigan address. The invoice of the transaction is below.


And so is a screenshot of the Quixtar website where Teddy was bought, and pictures of the tag.



Well. Whaddaya know about that.
Dick DeVos does Halloween


Trick or treat!



Who is that moderate looking boy smiling on your porch? He's not so scary! Is he? Nah...



But be sure and watch closely as Dick does his trick.



DeVos is still trying to dodge the issue of his support of radical right causes by hiding behind the mask of pro-gay rights, pro-choice, pro-stem cell research, RINO Rudy Giuliani. He looks so cute, doesn't he? That Rudy, he's OK, he's not a staunch conservative like those other Republicans. You are lulled into a false sense of security and relief. Those extreme, frightening costumes make you nervous. You have seen too many of them in the past few years.



This nice boy wants a treat, and he's ready to perform for you. The best part of Dick's trick involves deception on the questions put to him, creating an illusion that everything he says is true and believed by all, while relying on his band of flying monkeys to do his dirty work.



For the illusion to work, Dick only wants to talk about the economy when he comes to your porch. In this story by Peter Luke, Dick says, "The people of Michigan deserve a discussion on the real issues of Michigan and that's where I'm coming from."



But out in your yard in the darkness of night, the other tricksters that Dick runs with are stealing your pumpkin and egging your house. If the "real issues" concern only the economy, then why are Michigan Republicans running this stealth campaign designed to mobilize the extreme right?



That's part Dick's trick, too. They serve the DeVos agenda.



Brian Dickerson can tell you about it.



What is unique (or at least unusual) about DeVos is his combination of business acumen and religious zeal. Lots of people who have made a killing in the temporal world talk about their religious faith. But DeVos has put his money where his mouth is -- or rather, where his mouth has been in the past, and would be today if he were not running for public office in a state where religious zeal makes a lot of voters nervous.



For more than a decade, DeVos and his wife and the tax-exempt foundation they control have funneled millions of dollars to conservative Christian groups that seek to promote school prayer, public assistance for religious education, the criminalization of abortion and the prohibition of embryonic stem cell research, among other causes.



DeVos says he is running for office to promote an economic agenda. But as governor he would be in a position to advance nearly every one of the social agenda items that have preoccupied his adult life-- and there's simply no reason to believe he has suddenly lost interest in doing so.



In other words, when you wake up in the morning, you are going to find toilet paper all over your trees. And it's real, real hard to clean up.



Another part of Dick's trick involves projecting his views as being those of the majority, indicating that what he says is believed by all.



Watch as Dick does it with stem cell research in the first debate.



Cain: What about embryonic stem cell research (pointing at DeVos) You're opposed to it across the board, Mr. DeVos?



DeVos: I'm a great fan of stem cell research...



Cain: Embryonic?



DeVos: There's been great... there's been great progress with stem cell research, but I have great concerns again... like many, many citizens of Michigan, concerns about what... when we talk about the loss of life and the loss of an embryo. We need to focus on the things that we all can agree on. What we all agree on is that embryonic stem... er... that stem cell research offers great promise and we all agree on that we have concerns about the embryonic portion.



See? We all agree! Pretty good trick, huh?



DeVos is reaching a false conclusion about the "many, many citizens" and "we all agree" based on his own limited worldview. Recent polls on this issue across the country show an overwhelming majority support embryonic stem cell research. The same holds true for Michigan. Andy Meisner (D-Ferndale) solicited a poll some time ago that showed that 73% of Michigan residents support this research, including 72% of Roman Catholics.



But Dick won't admit that. You might not give him the treat if he told the truth.



He did this trick again with Roe v. Wade, saying that "As soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned, which I think we all pray that it will be ... we will revert back to Michigan law." Well, an October poll by Strategic Vision shows that only 35% of the people want Roe overturned, the majority do not and some are undecided. Granted, Dick was doing his trick for a Catholic radio station audience, but he does this so much it is obviously a pattern with him. It is part of the overall illusion.



Remember, when Dick says "we all agree", he needs to falsely convey that he speaks for the majority, when in fact Dick is speaking for the minority of the people. Dick knows this. He would govern just for them. That minority would hold unprecedented power given the state of our Legislature. Instead of working on the all-important economy this last session, the flying monkeys chose to address further restrictions on women's choice and also work on a bill that would give religious institutions the right to deny adoption services based on "moral issues" while still receiving your tax dollars.



They ignored the "real issues" that Dick speaks of. They have been working on the trick all this time.



Sometimes the mask slips, such as when he suggested that intelligent design should be taught in science classrooms. Oops! No treat for Dick that time. He put that mask right back on.



Some are tired of Dick's trick. GOP consultant Bill Nowling says that DeVos should rip off the mask, concentrate on the "social conservatives" and throw moderates right under the bus.



Dick already has, he just won't say it out loud. Dick wants that treat.



DeVos and his family have been leaders among Michigan Republicans in advancing conservative stances on social issues like abortion and school choice. Lansing-based GOP consultant Bill Nowling said it's important for DeVos to let social conservatives know that he shares their concerns even if it means "you lose a few people in the middle."



Turn off your porch light, moderates- party advisers are saying that your views just don't count.



Some people can see right through Dick's trick.



Other Republicans, however, say DeVos is losing moderate voters given his views on abortion, his support for teaching intelligent design -- a variation on creationism -- in K-12 science classes and his 2000 school voucher drive to loosen the constitutional restrictions on public funding of private schools.



"Independent and moderate Republican voters will be deciding this election and, in all honesty, they'll be with (Granholm)," said Sen. Shirley Johnson, R-Royal Oak. "I think everyone is getting sick over how far right" the Republican Party is headed.".



Don't give Dick his treat. Some people in the neighborhood have already figured that out and are closing the door on Dick.



Maybe you should too. And hope that it doesn't rain, making that toilet paper all the harder to clean up.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Granholm Ad: Crime Fighter

Here is the latest from the Granholm campaign.



Aren't you glad I learned how to do this?



I had managed to avoid ads all weekend by watching spooky movies on cable stations. A few creep in here and there, the MDP and the MI Coalition for Progress, but for the most part I was unaware of any new ads... but now, Mom calls me on the phone to tell me about them. And like the Good Dog that I am, I get up off the couch and get it on the air.



She's a trooper, my Mom. She needs to start her own blog.

NFL Week 8: The "I Hate Blogger" Edition

Let's see if I can get this to publish. If not, at least there will be a time stamp that shows when I made the picks, eh?



Arizona at Green Bay

Atlanta at Cincinnati

Baltimore at New Orleans

Houston at Tennessee

Jacksonville at Philadelphia

Seattle at Kansas City

San Francisco at Chicago

Tampa Bay at N.Y. Giants

St. Louis at San Diego

Indianapolis at Denver

N.Y. Jets at Cleveland

Pittsburgh at Oakland

Dallas at Carolina

New England at Minnesota



Open date: Buffalo, Detroit, Miami, Washington


No Lions to kick around this week. Hope the Colts are on.
Let's get 'er done, guv: We choose Jennifer Granholm

I was going to add this to my previous post on endorsements down below- but Blogger will not let me edit anything from the dashboard and will only publish from the "blog this" button.



I have had nothing but problems with Blogger since Google took them over, this week has been particularly bad, and if I continue to blog after the election (which I probably will), this will move to Word Press. I have had it.



Anyway, the Bay City Times rings in with their endorsement of the Guv.



Only by working together can Michigan's government and business leaders arrest the Great Lake State's slide into economic obscurity.



And haul it back to prosperity.



Gov. Granholm in her first four years in office has proven that she can get that job done.



Upon her inauguration in 2003, the shiny-new governor was handed what became a string of state budget deficits that eventually totaled $4 billion.



A Republican-controlled Legislature greeted the former attorney general from Northville with bared fangs.



Granholm has not only survived the ongoing partisan battles with the House and Senate, she has won her share.



Politics indeed is the fine art of compromise, and Granholm used her horse-trading skills - is that the attorney in her, or the politician? - to bring GOP legislators to her side on many issues.


And again, the vagueness of DeVos' plans sour the editors. It should sour everybody.



Granholm is familiar with our side of the state, and promotes it and our tourism Up North. It's not clear where our part of Michigan stands in DeVos' plans.



DeVos offers voters the improbable - that he would personally manage the state's comeback - and offers only clues about what he has in mind for tax reform and the economy.



Yeppers. Bring it home now-



Granholm has the grace and the knowledge and the skills to weave a common cloth from the competing threads of business and labor, Democrat and Republican.



With another four years in office, a term-limited Granholm could free herself from the shackles of pending re-election and have the guts and freedom to make her promise ring true.


Oh how sweet that would be. It's one of the things that gives me hope for the future- the chance to watch this woman take the lessons she has learned and overcome the roadblocks they have thrown in her face, and get us back on the right track.



Hope is a wonderful thing to have.

Hitting the Wall with the Michigan Republican Party:


There is a lady in my neighborhood who wanders around down on the corner by the local businesses shaking her fist and yelling at the sky. You can never really tell exactly what she is angry about; she jumps from subject to subject. There isn't anything coherent in her speech, no logic at all, you just know she's angry.



I have said "hi" to her a couple of times. She will stop yelling, smile, say "hi" or "how are you" back, calm as can be, and then proceed to go back to yelling after you walk by.



I don't argue with her about the things she yells about. What would be the point?



Lately I feel that way about the Michigan Republican Party and Dick DeVos. That is why my posts have been mostly about ads and polls this past week- I have reached the point where I really just don't want to argue with a bunch of people who are just pulling all their demons out of the gutter and shoving them in your face and screaming about them.



Case in point: Let's start with Craig DeRoche. He said something the other day that at first pissed me off, but later made me laugh as I realized I have truly fallen deep into the Theater of the Absurd that is this election season.



"The voters in Michigan are a smart bunch of people, but I do think the word needs to get out they are being manipulated by a billionaire," says House Speaker Craig DeRoche, R-Novi.



The Grand Rapids Press the other day ran this banner headline, "Billionaire spends liberally on state politics".



Now, at first glance, you would think that these two are talking about DeVos and the $35 million he has spent, right? Had they finally decided to come clean? No. It's the confusing pejoratives. That was the giveaway. In yet another round of that now time-honored cliche of "It's OK if You're A Republican", DeRoche and the yellow journalists at the Press were speaking of Jon Stryker, the billionaire who finally got so fed up with the Legislature he started the Michigan Coalition for Progress, a PAC that is running ads and sending out literature aimed at helping Democrats get elected this year.



To say the Republicans are freaking out would be an understatement. This has scared them so bad that they decided to play... the "gay card" once again. Because this guy has concerns about the wingnuts blocking stem cell research, or limiting access to birth control and reproductive choice, or any number of radical special interest legislation the right has managed to make priority one in Lansing, obviously he is going to push for GAY MARRIAGE. Quick! We need another amendment! Let the verbal bashing begin!



A top GOP campaign strategist on Friday said Stryker's Coalition for Progress has a "shadow agenda" to bolster gay and lesbian rights in Michigan, including a possible same-sex marriage initiative.



They have a web site set up to prove their specious claims.



The site claims Jon Stryker's contributions have challenged abstinence sex education and the preservation of traditional marriage and supported gay adoption rights, homosexuality diversity courses, abortion rights and domestic-partner benefits for gay and lesbian couples. It highlights Stryker's Kalamazoo-based Arcus Foundation's support for projects "which recognize that members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community deserve to be welcomed and celebrated."



Wow. I'm disgusted. Again. But mostly I'm bored. Aren't you?



Smear and fear are all the Republicans have to offer this year. You haven't seen it on the TV (much, there is a little, at least we now know how to cook heroin), but the reports about the robocalls and the direct mail hit pieces have been truly astonishing. Thank God for the internet- we have gathered them all together for quite a collection over at Michigan Liberal for an overview of just how pervasive this stuff is. I can't begin to highlight them all- but let me just say that they drag up all the GOP bogeymen: gays, terrorists, abortion, racism, Michael, Hillary and Ted, guns, violent criminals, raising taxes... and I'm sure there are a few I have missed.



The thing about these pieces is they flat-out LIE about the targets- here are a couple of examples with Granholm. "Governor Granholm actively supports partial birth abortion". Uh... no, she doesn't. She would have banned it if the legislation she was presented with hadn't had the potential to kill women. That translates into "support" in the eyes of the GOP. And on guns, "Granholm has made it a priority to chip away at and stop gun rights." Wrong again. The NRA gave her a B+ and decided not to endorse anyone in the governor's race this year.



The other pieces on the other candidates are just as egregious- claims with no base in reality, leaps of logic that are just too astonishing to be believed, let alone begin to address.



Even Bill Milliken was moved to write a letter to the Oakland Press about the smear campaign going on against Andy Levin.



As a Republican, I am appalled that these mailings come from the Michigan Republican Party and that my party is engaging in such irresponsible tactics rather than discussing the very real challenges that face Michigan today.



Expect a hit piece on Bill shortly.



So, in the face of all of this, what does one write about? Since the Republicans and DeVos have no plans or ideas that they will tell us about (see story below this one), and can only resort the tactics of fear, there really isn't much to say anymore, is there?



I don't argue with the lady on the corner. It would be pointless because she won't listen.



It's the same way with the Republican leadership nowadays.



I just hope that on November 7th, the citizens of Michigan decide that they have had enough of this kind of political theater and are ready to get back to the business of moving our state forward.



Our, we can continue to entertain insane notions from people who give all power to the paper monsters they want to put in your head to keep you afraid all the time, while under the radar their economic and social policies continue to hurt you and your family.



Your choice, Michigan. Please choose wisely.

Granholm receives more press endorsements

The Kalamazoo Gazette-



Although we agree that Michigan is not headed in the right direction, we believe Granholm is working to correct that course and has made some significant gains, despite the obstacles that have confronted her.



Michigan's economy was in a tailspin before Granholm was first elected in 2002. The state budget was already in ruins, the victim of the declining economy and a series of tax cuts enacted in the 1990s that left state programs cash-starved.



She had a Republican Legislature to deal with. Although we believe conflicts between the governor's office and the Legislature were real, they also were overstated at times. The truth is that Granholm and the Legislature often worked cooperatively to avoid K-12 budget cuts, to support life sciences and high-tech sectors and to create the 21st Century Jobs Fund.



-snip-



Gov. Granholm has faced down a considerable amount of adversity in the last four years, and has done it with aplomb.



She has the experience and the smarts. She is pragmatic and not an intractable ideologue.



On Nov. 7, send her back to Lansing to finish the job.



The Muskegon Chronicle really calls it like it is. The amazing thing is Dick wouldn't even meet with them.



We want a real fighter for our state, and in GOV. JENNIFER GRANHOLM, we've got one. The Muskegon Chronicle endorses her re-election to another four-year term.



The Democratic governor has kept Michigan together in the face of an enormous inherited budget deficit and a single-state economic hurricane caused by the meltdown of the Big 3 automotive manufacturers. She has advanced strong, intelligent economic plans, like her Jobs Today, Jobs Tomorrow program and her 21st Century Jobs Fund, despite the machinations of a largely hostile Republican Legislature.



-snip-



These "social issues," which include a potential reintroduction of the vouchers fight, the teaching of creationism in public school science classrooms (a lamentable idea which DeVos favors and Granholm doesn't) aren't the only areas of public policy in which the gulf between the candidates is as wide as the Grand Canyon. The Legislature in its most recent term irresponsibly, and without consulting the public, eliminated the Single Business Tax, punching a $1.9 billion hole in the state's general fund budget with no replacement. DeVos favors returning only half that lost revenue, and -- incredibly -- promises even deeper cuts in the budget by backing more tax losses.



Only Granholm stands between DeVos and Republicans so far to the right on the political spectrum that they would drown state government in a sea of program cuts -- which they are too cowardly to identify before the election.



Granholm has the heart of a fighter. She readily appeared before our editorial board to take on the tough questions any candidate must face in a close election.



DeVos, on the other hand, refused to meet with us. Among the questions we would have put to him is why he didn't make his full tax returns public, like Granholm has. This is standard operating procedure for gubernatorial candidates to put to rest concerns of any possible conflicts of interest.



Oh, well.


The Ludington Daily News, earlier this week, praised her economic plan- and laid into DeVos for his secrecy.



Her plan for the state’s economic future is on the right track, including a strong component of retraining the workforce and promoting higher education. In the end it’s having the best workforce that attracts employers. A look at the Daily News Help Wanted ads tells us there are jobs available, but they require special training. They’re in the health care field or require some other form of post-high-school certification. Gone are the days of knowing there’s a job for your child at the local plant after high school. Workers in other states realized this more quickly than in the heavy manufacturing state of Michigan. The state’s unemployment disaster came to a head during her tenure as governor (with a Republican Legislature), but it has been decades in the making.



-snip-



Granholm is a champion of Freedom of Information. Conversely, DeVos failed to answer Michigan Press Association questions about FOIA, leading us to assume he either doesn’t understand it, doesn’t acknowledge it’s importance (he comes from a private business historically entrenched in secrecy) or is afraid to have his views known before the election, none of which are acceptable answers to this advocate for keeping the public’s information public.


And again, it's early. Any more come in today and I will update later.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Congratulations Tigers on a wonderful year

Be proud of your team, Detroit. From Mitch Albom-

Now, this will be said a million times in the next few days, but let's say it here first: It was a great ride. Nothing detracts from that. Baseball has risen from the dead in Detroit, and the Tigers have carried our sports hopes from spring to summer and summer to fall, giving us a nightly story and a daily conversation.



"I just hope people realize what this team accomplished coming from 71 wins," Leyland said. "And how hard it is just to get to the World Series."



How could they not?



This team gave us kids to talk about -- Justin Verlander and Joel Zumaya and Curtis Granderson -- they gave us veterans rewriting their history -- Todd Jones and Kenny Rogers -- they gave us a walkoff home run to win the pennant and 23 shutout innings to make the old men feel like kids again. They gave us the quick, pesky guys like Placido Polanco and Carlos Guillen, and the beefy humor of Sean Casey and the fielding acrobatics of Brandon Inge and Pudge Rodriguez. For the first time in nearly 20 years, they made us remember their names.



What was best was the rekindling of an old feeling we thought we'd lost, like the sensation of riding a bike without holding the handles, like sledding down a big hill, like giggling with friends in the wee hours down in the basement. Kids stuff. The stuff of our youth -- a feeling we had in 1984 or 1968 but figured we would never feel again. Let's face it. The last time any of us enjoyed a World Series, the old were middle aged, the middle aged were just out of school, and the just out of school were just out of the womb.



Now we have a baseball team again. The Tigers may not be the world champs, but they are the American League pennant winners, and they are young and full of promise and they are coming back for more next April.


When looking at some lottery tickets this morning, a clerk at Meijers quipped, "Just like the Tigers... losers."



Wrong.



These guys are winners. Show a little gratitude people.



After all, you could be a Cubs fan.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Can $35 million buy you the Governor's office?

That is what we are going to find out.



Republican challenger Dick DeVos' campaign has raised more than $41 million, much of it his own money, according to campaign finance reports filed Friday. Democratic incumbent Jennifer Granholm's campaign reported nearing the $14 million mark.


Here is the number that blows my mind.



DeVos had contributed about $35 million of his own money as of Oct. 20.



So, $6 million came from outside sources. Jennifer has raised $14 million, more than twice what Dick has raised when it comes down to it. She still has $4 million on hand. Expect to see lots and lots of ads.



But you knew that anyway.

Senator Stabenow hits back on judges

A little love for Debbie for doing this. WTG Senator.



GRAND RAPIDS -- All or nothing.



That's U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow's position on three federal judge nominations made in a compromise with President George W. Bush.



One of three nominations, that of Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Janet Neff of East Grand Rapids, is on hold. U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kansas, halted her nomination after he learned Neff spoke four years ago at the commitment ceremony of a lesbian couple.



Bush nominated Neff along with attorney Robert Jonker of East Grand Rapids and Paul Maloney of Berrien County to serve in the U.S. District Court in West Michigan.



In the compromise to clear a logjam of judicial nominations, Stabenow and Sen. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, insisted on including Neff with the other two. All three had moved out of the Senate Judiciary Committee and were on their way to the full Senate before Brownback held up Neff.



Tuesday, Stabenow, D-Lansing, said if Neff's candidacy is scotched, the other nominations will be, too.



"It's a package," she said in a meeting with The Press editorial board. Stabenow is running against Republican Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard.


"It's time to take a stand" against nutjobs like Brownback who are just obsessed with gay people. This is ridiculous.



Enough is enough.
Updated Michigan Governor's Race Trends- Capital Viewpoint

This was such a pretty picture I had to steal it. Thanks go to Nirmal for doing all this work.




The blue line is Granholm, the red DeVos. Of course.



Five polls were done over approximately the same time period... for Granholm, they are showing almost a 10 point spread between them. It is a good sign that surveys are conducted over multiple days, to make sure that everyone who is "picked" eventually responds. This close to the election, people could be reacting to things that they see on TV on a day-to-day basis. This might account for some of the variation.



If anything, this is indicative that Granholm is continuing her lead and DeVos is continuing to lose support. This is supported by the increase in his unfavorability between last month and this month.



Still, given the variation in results its really tough to say.


So true. I think that most people have made up their minds by now, but as far as polls go- there are so many variables that play into results; the wording of the question, the breakdown of demos on respondents, on and on. I hope that between all of them we are seeing a true picture of what is happening out there.

Poll: Middle Class Voters Abandoning GOP

Take heed, Michigan.



WASHINGTON (AP) -- The 2006 election is shaping up to be a repeat of 1994. This time, Democrats are favored to sweep Republicans from power in the House after a dozen years of GOP rule.



Less than two weeks before the Nov. 7 election, the latest Associated Press-AOL News poll found that likely voters overwhelmingly prefer Democrats over Republicans. They are angry at President Bush and the Republican-controlled Congress, and say Iraq and the economy are their top issues.


Single state recession? Why is the rest of the country so unhappy if that is true?



At the same time, fickle middle-class voters are embracing the Democratic Party and fleeing the GOP - just as they abandoned Democrats a dozen years ago and ushered in an era of Republican control.



"I don't think the Republican Party represents what I stand for. The guys I golf with, we're in the middle class, we're getting hurt," says Joseph Altland, 73, a retired teacher in York, Pa. He is a registered Republican but says he is considering becoming an independent.


Republican policy favors the wealthy only.



88.3% of the total benefits from Bush tax cuts went to people with incomes over $100,000. In addition, the total number of taxpayers who got a vast majority of the benefits represent only 12.71% of all taxpayers.



Do you really expect DeVos to be any different?



Really? Has he ever addressed the needs of the middle class or small business? His tax cuts target large corporations only. Stop and think about that.



Aside from the level of voter anger, the other dynamic that invites comparisons to 1994 is the attitude of middle-class voters - those earning less than $75,000 a year and who have graduated high school or have some college education.



In 1994, these voters deserted the Democrats in droves, helping Republicans capture dozens of Democratic-held House seats to seize control for the first time in decades.



Democrats recovered some of that lost ground in the following years, but they never fully regained their grasp on the middle class. In the intervening midterm elections, Democrats and Republicans split the House vote among middle-income and middle-education groups.



This fall, however, the AP-AOL News poll shows that Democrats have an advantage - in some cases in the double digits - among middle-class voters.



A majority of middle-class voters now favor Democrats to control the House and say that Democrats best represent their most closely held beliefs. They trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle the situation in Iraq, which most of them view as a mistake. The war is this voting group's most important issue. The economy and health care are close behind.


Republicans don't represent the people anymore. They represent those who can afford to buy them. People like DeVos who stand to make out big from his own tax cut policies.



America is waking up to this fact. Let's hope Michigan gets it, too.



Republicans for Granholm. Check it out. They make a lot of sense.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Another New Granholm Ad: The Economist




Granholm plays the "Mom" card and tells you where she stands.



Have you cleaned up your room?
EPIC Poll: Granholm 48%, DeVos 43%

More numbers. My head is swimming with numbers.



The poll, conducted exclusively for WOOD TV8 and our media partners, surveyed 600 people October 22-25, and has a margin of error of 4 percent.



When asked who they would vote for if the election were held today, 44 percent said Granholm, with another 4 percent leaning her way. DeVos received 37 percent with 6 percent leaning. Combined, Granholm holds a 48-43 edge, with 7 percent undecided.



That is a bit of a slip from the last poll where Granholm led 50-42. Once again, WOOD has the full script here.



Check out these questions- Granholm wins when asked on specifics, even on Dick's pet issue.



Who do you trust more to do what is right to improve Michigan's economy and provide more good paying jobs for Michigan residents in the future, [ROTATE] Governor Jennifer Granholm or Dick DeVos, the Republican candidate for Governor?



46% Governor Jennifer Granholm

41% Dick DeVos, the Republican candidate for Governor

1% Both equally (volunteered)

6% Neither (volunteered)

6% Undecided/don't know/refused



Who loves you, baby?



Which candidate for governor better understands the needs and concerns of a person like yourself [ROTATE] Dick DeVos or Jennifer Granholm?



48% Jennifer Granholm

37% Dick DeVos

6% Neither (volunteered)

1% Both (volunteered)

8% Undecided/don't know/refused



Which candidate for governor do you feel you know more about as a person [ROTATE] Dick DeVos or Jennifer Granholm?



47% Jennifer Granholm

29% Dick DeVos

13% Neither (volunteered)

8% Both (volunteered)

3% Undecided/don't know/refused




Which candidate for governor do you feel you know more about in terms of what their plans are for governor and what they would do if elected [ROTATE] Dick DeVos or Jennifer Granholm?



50% Jennifer Granholm

32% Dick DeVos

8% Neither (volunteered)

6% Both (volunteered)

4% Undecided/don't know/refused


The favorable/unfavorables numbers- Granholm 50-43 favorable, DeVos 48-40 unfavorable. 48% have an unfavorable opinion of Dick. Wow. That was second only to George Bush at 55%.



Stabenow has a big lead on EPIC, 50-38. 6% still don't know who Bouchard is, and keep in mind these are likely voters.



The Props-



Prop 2 -banning Affirmative action- "No" is leading 44-41.

Prop 3 -allowing the hunting mourning doves- "No" is leading by a whopping 66-25. Take that, Ted.

Prop 5- funding for the schools- when pressed, "Yes" is leading 43-40.



There you have it. And as Don Pardo says...until next time, if there IS a next time...
Granholm vs. DeVos- Interview with Heritage Newspapers

Heritage serves the southeastern part of Michigan. This is another compare and contrast interview- the same questions are put to both candidates. As with all the other interviews that have this format, Granholm has answers and DeVos has blame and platitudes.



I wanted to highlight the SBT answer because DeVos said something that I hadn't heard before- and I thought that Dick said he couldn't tell you his plan until he had access to the state figures.



How would you replace the revenue lost with the repeal of the Single Business Tax?



Granholm: The Republican Legislature took the irresponsible way out and has simply eliminated the Single Business Tax without first coming up with a plan. By doing so, they created a $1.9 billion hole in the state budget, which represents 20 percent of our general fund revenues. It is telling that a Wall Street credit agency downgraded Michigan's credit rating immediately after the Republicans voted to eliminate the SBT without a plan to protect the vital revenue it provides.



While I agree that the Single Business Tax must be repealed, I will not stand by and watch the tax shifted on to the backs of Michigan taxpayers. I want a guarantee from Republicans that no plan to replace the revenue from the business tax will increase taxes for citizens or slash funding for health care, education, or public safety.



I have proposed a plan to eliminate the Single Business Tax as we know it by lowering the tax rate, simplifying the tax and making it less payroll sensitive. My plan calls for a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 1.9 percent to 1.2 percent. It creates a manufacturing and research-and-development personal property tax credit to help our manufacturers and draw new high-tech companies to Michigan. It eliminates loopholes that allow some business to avoid the tax. I am the only candidate for governor who has put a plan to replace the SBT on the table.



DeVos: First, getting rid of the SBT will help to create jobs, which will actually help the budget. Second, I will replace the majority of the revenue with a broad-based business tax. Like other states, it will be centered on business profits and gross receipts. Simple and fair — it won't punish job creation. If you make more, you will pay more. I will not place the burden of additional taxes on Michigan families.



Also, I have already identified $800 million in waste and fraud that the state can cut out of its budget without harming education, health care, etc. That includes requiring a four-year time limit on welfare that would save $80 million the first year alone. The governor has opposed this measure and Michigan is one of only two states in the nation without a limit.


Here is the DeVos answer on the SBT in mid-August, courtesy of Skubick.



DeVos media mouthpiece John Truscott hammered home the point again after the GOP legislature wiped out the unpopular SBT on August 8th. He told an unsuspecting Detroit newspaper that the DeVos folks couldn't play the SBT replacement game because they didn't have the details from the state.



-snip-



In fact, Klein fired off a 55-page memo to the aforementioned Speaker Craig DeRoche with all the tax data one would ever need to draft a replacement for the SBT. And on top of that, while DeVos and company were crying crocodile tears over their inability to figure out their tax policies, yet another GOP source had the numbers since last June!



How is it that DeVos has identified $800 million when he said he didn't have the access to the details? And, would Dick like to tell us exactly what "waste and fraud" he has identified?



He didn't pull that number from the air. He has something specific in mind. And judging by his answer this time and other times, Dick's first action will be to attack the poor, the sick, and the elderly so he can give tax cuts to business. Preferably big business.



Dick won't tell you his plan, but he obviously has the numbers on those less fortunate souls down. They will be the first to go.

He put his priority right on display, and like the good Republican bully that he is, he goes after those that can't fight back. What a guy.

New Granholm Ad: A Bold New Future



I just get done complaining about all the ads, and what do they do? Release another ad. Well, I've come this far; I can't stop now. :-)



It's a bold new future. You can tell by the use of the brass in the upbeat music, and the Governor-on-the-go action shots.



I like positive. Maybe the frequency of these ads wouldn't be so annoying if they all were this way.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

SurveyUSA Poll- Granholm 52, DeVos 45

Polls, polls, polls. Love seeing that 50% mark.


In an election for Governor of Michigan today, 10/25/06, incumbent Democrat Jennifer Granholm defeats Republican challenger Dick DeVos by 7 points, 52% to 45%, according to an exclusive SurveyUSA poll conducted for WDIV-TV Detroit, WZZM-TV Grand Rapids and WDIO-TV Duluth.

Duluth? Are we taking over Duluth? I don't remember that as part of the 21st Century Jobs plan. Don't we have to conquer Wisconsin first?



(Yes, I know that is polling the western UP. Just kidding.)



Granholm leads by 15 among women. DeVos leads by 2 among men. DeVos leads by 4 among whites. Granholm leads by 74 among blacks. Granholm leads by 51 in Wayne County. DeVos leads by 7 in the Detroit suburbs. The race is tied elsewhere.



And on the Senate side- Stabenow 51 Bouchard 44



In an election for United States Senate in Michigan today, 10/25/06, incumbent Democrat Debbie Stabenow defeats Republican challenger Mike Bouchard 51% to 44%, according to a SurveyUSA poll conducted exclusively for WDIV-TV Detroit, WZZM-TV Grand Rapids and WDIO-TV Duluth. Compared to an identical SurveyUSA tracking poll released 10/9/06, Stabenow is down 2, Bouchard is up 2.



A little slip for Stabenow.



The rest of the results- Cox 53% Williams 38%. My mind keeps repeating...



"Mike Cox- MARINE!"



...and has been playing that over and over today, with visions of the AG office under assault from... oh, I don't know, the Canadians or something.



And Prop 2 still confuses the hell out of everybody-



37% 'Certain' Yes


35% 'Certain' No


28% Not Certain



Well folks, you have less than two weeks to figure it out. Better hit the books.

DeVos and the MI-GOP on stem cell research

This post is from last month, but the issue has suddenly caught fire due to the national exposure from the Michael J. Fox ad. For those of us who grew up with Michael, it's quite a powerful piece of video. (He is only four years older than me.)



Sorry for the repeat, but it's time to remind Michigan voters where DeVos and the current leaders of the Michigan Republican Party stand on this issue.



Yesterday Governor Granholm called on the legislature once again to act on lifting the restrictions on stem cell research in Michigan.



"The promise of stem cell research is allowing talented researchers and businesses around the world to develop cures for devastating diseases," Granholm said. "By lifting the decades-old restrictions on stem cell research, the cures that could have tremendous impact on the lives of Michigan citizens who live with these illnesses could be developed right here in our own backyard."



But as long as DeVos controls Republicans with his money, it will never happen. Better to throw them out this Nov. 7th and make sure this gets done.



From Sept. 20th-



Dick DeVos and the MI-GOP oppose embryonic stem cell reasearch, a position currently at odds with 73% of Michigan.



Since the Republicans in our legislature act under the orders of Right to Life (70 of 110 endorsed) and the Michigan Catholic Conference while they ignore the rest of the people, a new group formed recently might be part of the answer to getting the harsh restrictions on embryonic stem cell research lifted and so we can join and compete with the rest of the country in this field.



While this group may help educate people, the real answer lies in making sure that DeVos does not become governor and electing legislators that will act on the needs of the people of Michigan.



LANSING, Mich. -- Cathy Coury looks forward to the day when researchers may find a cure for the juvenile diabetes that makes her young sons' lives a constant round of insulin shots and blood-sugar monitoring.



On Monday, she joined with researchers from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, elected officials and policy makers to formally kick off a bipartisan group, Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures, that plans to make the case that Michigan's tough restriction on embryonic stem cell research is blocking important medical gains and hurting the state's economy.



"I want to know researchers are out there exploring every option," said Coury, who lives in Grand Rapids and is the legislative chairwoman of the West Michigan Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.



The stem cell advocacy group doesn't plan to endorse any lawmakers or any specific legislation. But it does hope to make its case with the public that the state is losing out on potential cures and economic benefits by restricting embryonic stem cell research.



Perhaps it should endorse lawmakers and legislation. After all, if Dick DeVos were to become governor, the group's goals have no chance at success. DeVos is opposed to this potential life saving research.



DeVos opposes embryonic stem cell research, although he supports research on adult stem cells.


Another dodge from Dick, trying to make his position palatable- adult stem cells don't carry the same potential. This is the exact same position as the Right to Life and Bush. From a story on the Bush veto earlier this year-



Right to Life of Michigan, which supports the Bush veto, said researchers could concentrate on treatments using adult stem cells -- those obtained from the umbilical cords of newborns or donors for cancer patients.



And those fun folks in Lansing play along with this gambit, passing an adult stem cell bill in the House recently while ignoring and/or blocking bills for embryonic cell research, much to the dismay of Andy Meisner and other Democrats.



The Michigan Catholic Conference, part of the one-two punch that controls our Republican legislature, seems to think that this group is the beginning of a potential ballot issue for 2008.



Michigan Catholic Conference spokesman Dave Maluchnik said Monday that he thinks embryonic stem cell advocates, finding themselves stymied by the Legislature, will try to take the issue to Michigan voters.



"I think the process today began a ballot campaign for 2008 on this issue," he said.



They also try the "adult" bit.
Maluchnik said current research on adult stem cells is finding cures without having to use embryonic stem cells.



"We have a message of being positive and wanting to find cures as well, and we think we can do that through adult stem cells," he said.



They keep saying that, and the doctors and researchers keep telling them they are wrong.



Who do you believe, the people who do this for a living, or the people who have a religious agenda? Let's hear from Joe Schwarz, who was part of the news conference today-



Schwarz, an ear, nose and throat specialist, disputed that. He said embryonic stem cells can foster more cures than adult stem cells or umbilical cord stem cells.



And a researcher-



Sean Morrison, director of the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology, agreed with Schwarz that embryonic stem cell research offers potential medical advancements that adult stem cell research does not. He warned about legislating "out of ignorance and misinformation."



And another-



"Because of the unique properties of embryonic stem cells, we just can't expect the same range of benefits from using adult stem cells," said Dr. Ed Nieshoff, a spinal cord injury research scientist at the Michigan Rehabilitation Institute in Detroit. He called the veto "a tremendous setback not only for Michigan but the nation."



Scientists and companies are leaving Michigan to go to states where the laws won't restrict their progress.



Yet despite the cause for optimism, and the weight and resources of one of the nation's top research institutions behind it, the program, just 2 years old, has already lost some of its top scientists to other states.



They have gone to states such as California, where last year 59 percent of voters gave the OK to $3 billion in public funding for embryonic stem cell research over the next 10 years.



"There are companies that have come out of the University of Michigan and gone to California," Sean Morrison, the new director for U-M's Center for Stem Cell Biology, said Friday at a conference for journalists at the university.



Craig DeRoche doesn't care.


Matt Resch, spokesman for House Speaker Craig DeRoche, R-Novi, said stem cell research hasn't been an issue in the Legislature and shouldn't necessarily be thought of in terms of economic benefit.



Granholm has a petition, go sign now! - but I doubt it will get anywhere unless you fire your local Republican this November.

Time to clean House!

Michigan Democratic Party Ad: Healthcare



New ad from the MDP.



You are tired of ads, I know. I am too.



If you watch any kind of local news, you are hit with ad after ad after ad of, "Did so! Did not! He did that, can you believe she did this, she didn't do that, he supports that, Michigan sucks, sucks, sucks and we will lose EVERYTHING if this continues, and oh my God, the world is going to END if we elect so-and so, and whatever you do, don't shoot the birds, you horrible person you!"



It's no wonder people don't like politicians; they obviously are responsible for every bad thing that happens in this country as they work on a daily basis to DESTROY us all.



All that being said, I like this new ad from the MDP, just as I liked Granholm's ad on choice. It's quiet, it's effective, it's truthful, and nobody is whining at me.



LANSING- Today the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) unveiled a new television ad on Republican gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos titled "Care". The ad, which begins airing statewide today, shows how DeVos has no plan for making health care more accessible or affordable to Michigan citizens. DeVos' only plan for health care is to "get a job." Governor Jennifer M. Granholm proposed the revolutionary Michigan First Health Care Plan that will, for the first time, provide access to affordable health care for all citizens in Michigan. Negotiations with the federal government are on track to implement the program in April, 2007.



The Detroit News just did a story outlining the differences between the candidates on this issue, and they point to health care as being one of the reasons that Michigan is at a huge disadvantage when it comes to competing with foreign car manufacturers.



Put simply, the high cost of health care hurts job creation and retention, which is the number one issue in this campaign. The two go hand in hand.



Gov. Jennifer Granholm is seeking federal approval for a universal health care plan in Michigan. Republican challenger Dick DeVos says the surest way to increase the number of insured is to increase the number of jobs in the state.



In reality, economic and health care issues are inextricably linked.



For example, the cost of health care benefits adds $1,525 to the price of a General Motors-made automobile, putting the Michigan car giant at a competitive disadvantage with foreign auto companies whose health care tab is picked up by the government.



The declining market share of domestic automakers is usually given as the No. 1 reason Michigan's economy is in trouble.


A main component of the "jobs" issue is totally ignored by the "jobs maker" DeVos. "More jobs" doesn't address the rising costs of health care, and furthermore he still hasn't told us how he will create "more jobs" in the first place.



I have blogged extensively about this issue this year- and I'm getting to the point where I feel everything I say is redundant. If you want to read further, here are some links-



An interview with Industry Week has DeVos repeating the same talking points and offering no solid plans.



During the 3rd debate Granholm challenged DeVos to tell what his plan was, and DeVos just attacked her as usual, offering no ideas of his own.



The Detroit News ran a great series on health care back in September, this post highlights just how serious and expensive the problem is.



And if that isn't enough- go way back to the beginning of February where Dick casually said he would look at eliminating Medicaid, just like his good buddy Matt Blunt did in Missouri. At the time I said, "My guess is that he will back off of this, not answer questions, run his smear campaign", and lo and behold I was right. He backed off of that statement a few days later, but to this very day he still uses the same phrases that Matt Blunt used as an excuse for throwing thousands off of Medicaid, that being "waste, fraud and abuse". Dick's "plan" includes scrutinizing the poor, which, guess what!, will send them to the emergency rooms and drive up your costs again.



DeVos has no plan. Granholm does. Your choice, Michigan.
St. Louis 5, Detroit 0- Tigers pick bad time for bats to go cold

If these guys don't start hitting they won't see the inside of Comerica except to clean out their lockers when they come home.



ST. LOUIS -- The only thing colder than the Tigers' bats was the temperature at Busch Stadium for Game 3 of the World Series Tuesday night.



And if they don't get hot sooner rather than later, the World Series will be over for the Tigers quicker than anyone could have expected.



And the end result won't be what most expected it would be when this thing first started.



The Tigers, best described as feeble at the plate, lost 5-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals before a sellout crowd of 46,513. They now trail this best-of-seven series, 2-1.



Coming into the game, where the game-time temperature was 43 degrees, Curtis Granderson (0-for-9), Placido Polanco (0-for-7) and Ivan Rodriguez (0-for-8) were all hitless in the World Series. None of them were able to change that in Game 3 and they are now a combined 0-for-34.


Cub-killer Pudge is breakin' my heart here. C'mon boys, snap out of it tonight!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rasmussen: Granholm 54% DeVos 43%

Rasmussen- dey maka you pay, so I'm going to steal the write-up from Michigan Liberal.



Pollster.com (look in the "Most Recent Polls" ticker) shows Governor Granholm with an 11-point Rasmussen lead. Presumably the full poll will be released soon. The last Rasmussen showed the Governor with a 7-point lead.



No doubt about it. The momentum is still going strong. But there's no time to rest. Don't forget who we're dealing with. And there'll be plenty of time for sleep two weeks from today!


And don't forget she had this kind of lead on Posthumus, too- and that turned out to be a 4 pt. spread in the end.



Get back to work. All of you. Right now.



UPDATE: Links to the official Rasmussen release.



Granholm 53, DeVos 42 Independents breaking for Granholm.



Stabenow 53, Bouchard 39. Go Debbie go! We will deal with you later.

Strategic Vision October Poll: Granholm 47 DeVos 43

Thanks go out to Nirmal for pointing this poll out. Wish we could get an EPIC.



If the election for Governor were held today, whom would you vote for Jennifer Granholm, the Democrat or Dick DeVos, the Republican?



Jennifer Granholm 47%

Dick DeVos 43%

Undecided 10%



The undecideds seem awful high compared to other polls. Last month SV had Granholm leading 47-46 with 7 undecided- seems to indicate that DeVos has lost ground and Granholm is just holding steady.



This question is intriguing-



Do you approve or disapprove of President Bush's handling of the economy?



Approve 25%

Disapprove 66%

Undecided 9%



So why would Michigan even consider electing DeVos, who has the same tax cut "plan" for the economy as Bush?



Things that make you go "hmmmmm."



Stabenow's race is narrowing like I thought it would, but not by much.



If the election for United States Senate were held today, whom would you vote for Debbie Stabenow, the Democrat or Mike Bouchard, the Republican?



Debbie Stabenow 48%

Mike Bouchard 42%

Undecided 10%



Last month 51-44 Stabenow, and again the undecideds jump. Very odd.



Nirmal has a graph on the trend lines here.



Where is Fast Eddie when you need him? ;-)
NFL Week 7 Results: Not a Pretty Picture



Cincinnati 17, Carolina 14

N.Y. Jets 31, Detroit 24

Green Bay 34, Miami 24

Houston 27, Jacksonville 7

New England 28, Buffalo 6

Tampa Bay 23, Philadelphia 21

Atlanta 41, Pittsburgh 38 (OT)

Kansas City 30, San Diego 27

Denver 17, Cleveland 7

Oakland 22, Arizona 9

Minnesota 31, Seattle 13

Indianapolis 36, Washington 22

N.Y. Giants 36 Dallas 22


7-6. And I'll say it again, stupid Eagles, but yea! for my Bucs.




Monday, October 23, 2006

Rising star Obama weighs White House run

The thought of this literally gives me chills. Talk about an electric candidate. The "left" has some problems with his moderate views, but, face it, we probably won't get Feingold anyway. And I don't think anyone can stop the juggernaut that will be Hillary.



I could easily see a Clinton - Obama ticket.



WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama acknowledged Sunday he was considering a run for president in 2008, backing off previous statements that he would not do so.



The Illinois Democrat said he could no longer stand by the statements he made after his 2004 election and earlier this year that he would serve a full six-year term in Congress. He said he would not make a decision until after the Nov. 7 elections.



"That was how I was thinking at that time," said Obama, when asked on NBC's "Meet the Press" about his previous statements.



"Given the responses that I've been getting over the last several months, I have thought about the possibility" although not with the seriousness or depth required, he said. "My main focus right now is in the '06. ... After November 7, I'll sit down, I'll sit down and consider, and if at some point I change my mind, I will make a public announcement and everybody will be able to go at me."


The media will now be all over this guy. Whatever he decides, he will bring an intelligent and thoughtful voice to the '08 campaign- even if he doesn't go for the nomination this time around.

About those kids in the political commercials...

Another DeVos flip-flop. I wasn't going to go here until the press did, and well, the press did... so here it is.



The daughters of U.S. Senate candidate Mike Bouchard and gubernatorial candidate Dick DeVos, both Republicans, have appeared in campaign commercials to help humanize their dads.



Mikayla Bouchard, a 17-year-old Brooke Shields look-alike, got it started when she told viewers that her dad was a commonsense conservative, who tended to be a bit of a drag when he tagged along on her dates.



Elissa DeVos, a 22-year-old stunner, made her debut last week with a cheery and resounding endorsement of her dad.


And doesn't she look like Mom? I see a young Betsy DeVos when I look at her.



Just a mere month ago Dick had a different opinion regarding his kids and the campaign.



DeVos said his 15 months of campaigning have been interesting and eye-opening.



The one downside, he said, has been exposing his four children, ages 15 to 24, to the "viciousness of criticism."



"The bitterness in the political process is hurtful to kids," he said. "But I have no regrets. For the most part, the people of Michigan have been gracious, and I've been able to see and learn."


But when you are down 20 pts. in the polls on women, it's time to trot those kids right out there and put them on display.



Something tells me the DeVos kids can take it.



Sorry, Dick, you don't get to bemoan the process in one breath and then use them as props in the next.
DETROIT 3, ST. LOUIS 1

They survived what I like to call a "Cubs ninth"- two out, two strikes on the batter, and then the other team proceeds to load the bases. Been there, done that.



What a game!



On Sunday night, Rogers pitched eight scoreless innings for the Tigers' first World Series win since 1984. He allowed two hits and -- after Todd Jones survived a scary ninth inning -- notched a 3-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 2 at Comerica Park. The Series is tied, 1-1, as it heads to St. Louis' new Busch Stadium for three games.



And about the ninth...

Jones retired the first two hitters of the ninth, then allowed a single and booted what should have been a game-ending comebacker by former Tiger Juan Encarnacion.



After the error, Jones allowed Jim Edmonds' bloop RBI double, which put the potential tying run at second. Jones hit Preston Wilson with a pitch to load the bases before Yadier Molina grounded into a shortstop-to-second base force-out.



Rogers was amazing.



For the second straight start, Rogers allowed two hits, both singles, one on the infield. For the second straight start, he allowed a runner past first base only in the first inning. Encarnacion ended the first with a comebacker. Rogers, who had never won a postseason game before this month, has pitched 23 innings this postseason, and in most of them hasn't come close to allowing a run.


And guess who was at the game?



An appropriately dressed Gov. Jennifer Granholm -- blue "Detroit" windbreaker and Tigers cap -- was spotted as well, down on the stadium's lowest level near the ballfield.


Saturday was Repub night, Sunday was Dem night.



So Republicans DeVos and senatorial candidate Mike Bouchard on Saturday night, and Democrats Granholm and Sen. Debbie Stabenow Sunday night -- did the politicos get together and divvy up the Series or something? Did we miss the memo?



The Detroit News has missed a lot of memos, so my guess is yes.



Go Tigers!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

NFL Week 7... and a warning for the Tigers



Carolina at Cincinnati

Detroit at N.Y. Jets

Green Bay at Miami

Jacksonville at Houston

New England at Buffalo

Philadelphia at Tampa Bay

Pittsburgh at Atlanta

San Diego at Kansas City

Denver at Cleveland

Arizona at Oakland

Minnesota at Seattle

Washington at Indianapolis

N.Y. Giants at Dallas



Open date: Baltimore, Chicago, New Orleans, San Francisco, St. Louis, Tennessee



St. Louis 7, Tigers 2

And now a word about the Tigers and baseball superstition.



I have posted before that I wanted both candidates to stay away from the baseball team, but when they both started to embrace the Tigers, I figured any bad mojo from that would balance out, right?



Until last night. Now we have proved who brings the curse.



Dick DeVos stood outside Comerica Park on Saturday with his wife, Betsy, and their four kids, greeting Tigers fans -- who also might be potential voters -- and handing out T-shirts bearing his name.



The shirts bear the candidate's name, but the D in DeVos had been transformed into the Old English D that also graces the uniforms of Detroit's newest heroes.



-snip-



Gov. Jennifer Granholm is in the same boat. She wasn't at Saturday's game, but hopes to get to at least one of them.


DeVos was there, Granholm was not.



Hope he is busy tonight... or Granholm might have to catch a game in St. Louis when Dick puts us deep in the hole. ;-)

Major press endorsements for Granholm start to roll in

Last week the three right-wing papers in the state endorsed DeVos, and those endorsements conveniently showed up in a TV ad a few days later. Coincidence? Hard to believe.



Something tells me that Granholm is going to be able to produce a bigger list. This morning we hear from Detroit, Saginaw and Lansing.



Do press endorsements really mean all that much anymore in the face of 24/7 instant news? Probably not. They are pretty predictable- it's only when they go outside their usual editorial stance do they really garner notice.



But still, the following papers point out that DeVos has not produced his plans and has relied on "vague" and "fuzzy" ideas- and it's about time the press calls him out on it. I wonder why they waited until their endorsement.



Let's start with the big one- The Detroit Free Press-



"FREE PRESS EDITORIAL: Our choice: Granholm



Gov. JENNIFER GRANHOLM is the best candidate to lead the state through this difficult transition. The Detroit Free Press endorses Democrat Granholm for a second four-year term. She is a dynamic leader who is pushing Michigan in all the right directions against formidable economic and political forces.



Dick DeVos, her Republican opponent, has spent personal millions to wage a tireless campaign against the governor and in this, his first major race, established himself as a credible political figure. He has a number of good ideas (such as?), but also a lot of ambitious plans with vague financial details and a history that suggests he'd try to take Michigan hard to the right, further dividing a state that already has too many fractures for its own good.



The Lansing State Journal-
"Governor: Granholm's positive approach beats DeVos' vague plans"



Gov. Jennifer Granholm and her Republican challenger, businessman Dick DeVos, have built their campaigns around the central claim that they are best equipped to revive Michigan's economy. There are far more issues on the plate for the state's next chief executive, but jobs come before everything.



And, on point after point, it's Granholm with the better plan for Michigan's revival. We endorse Jennifer Granholm for a second term as Michigan's governor.



-snip-



He backs a massive business tax cut via the elimination and only partial replacement of the Single Business Tax. He also wants to shed the personal property tax for businesses; again with some type of vague, partial replacement.



No one is thrilled by taxes. But DeVos, like his erstwhile GOP allies in the Legislature, can't show how Michigan would provide critical services without these taxes. And full repeal of the SBT and the personal property tax represents more than $3 billion for state, school and local government accounts.



All governments can run more efficiently. But taking billions out of public services isn't reforming government, it's deconstructing it.



LSJ gives us a very strong point to consider at the end, one that has been touched on briefly here and there, and that is the thought that the legislature will remain Republican due to gerrymandering. I hope they are wrong, but if they are right...



Voters should ask themselves: Do they want the executive and legislative branches in the hands of one party, or split between the two major parties?



Politically divided government might not be efficient, but it is an excellent way to temper partisan extremes. Michigan, as a state, is not politically radical. It has elected a mix of liberal Democrats, conservative Republicans and plenty of folks in between.



That's the point - it's been a mix, not a single vision, a single ideology.



Granholm's first term has been difficult. But her willingness to invest in Michigan, her belief that Michigan can excel, and her preference for compromise and moderation over uncertain alternatives make her the clear choice for governor.



The Saginaw News-



"Jennifer Granholm for governor"



We openly concede that our choice for governor in 2006 is a provincial embrace. All politics are local, as the political dictum goes, and more than ever Saginaw requires a leader in Lansing who understands the needs of one of the most economically challenged areas in the most economically depressed state.



So when it comes to deciding Tuesday, Nov. 7, between Republican Dick DeVos and Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm, the choice for us is simple -- if not easy.



Gov. Granholm understands the Saginaw region's problems and has worked diligently with Saginaw Future Inc. and other economic development agencies to help address the region's needs. Her attention on the Interstate 675 downtown ramp, a pair of "Cool Cities" projects, Hemlock Semiconductor's expansion and a host of other smaller projects are evidence of her commitment.



DeVos' fuzzy stance on issues facing Saginaw and the Interstate 75 corridor makes it impossible for us to support the businessman in his bid for governor. He would eliminate Granholm's "Cool Cities" initiative, but he hasn't said how he would help Michigan's cities. When pressed by The Saginaw News Editorial Board to discuss how he could assist the region, his pat response was that he would be governor "for all of Michigan."



They go on to really rake DeVos over the coals for being out of touch with the Saginaw area, but they also wag their finger a few times at Granholm as they endorse her.



Michigan's challenge -- and Saginaw's challenge -- demands a long-term strategy that helps the state move from its century-old emphasis on the auto industry as an economic engine. That kind of change takes time, and Granholm has started Michigan down a more promising path.



That's not to say that Granholm hasn't made mistakes in her first term. She should have tempered her initial reaction to Delphi's announcement that it intended to close or sell U.S. plants, including some in mid-Michigan. Rather than criticize business and industry for positioning themselves to compete, the governor must continue to reach out and work with employers who want to create jobs in Michigan. She was slow to react to the global forces that created Michigan's economic fall.


That last bit of crticism is unfounded. The "global forces" can be traced all the way back to the 70's or earlier, and I'm not sure how she was supposed to "react" when she was busy fixing the budget. But, whatever-

In the end, however, we trust



JENNIFER M. GRANHOLM more to reach out to areas such as Saginaw as the state adjusts to new, painful economic realities. We endorse her for a second term.


These are the ones that are up so far- this early not all the papers have their editions online yet. If (when) I find more I will update this post.